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"SaltĖNo Salt"
by Jeff Miller

Anglers Edge Outfitters
Providing the Ultimate Fishing Experience

Salt or no salt that is the question I pose to you.  Do you really know why salt is added to your soft plastics?  Do you know the history behind salt impregnated baits?  Does it really make fish bite and hold on longer?  Are you tired of me asking all these questions?  We are going to look into some of these questions and see if we can find the answers.

I can remember when salt first started showing up in soft plastics.  Well actually it started showing up in the bags.  It looked like someone spilled a box of Morton Kosher Salt in with the worms.  I spent the better part of an hour looking for the little girl with an umbrella on the out side of that first bag of worms I bought.  I can remember racing off to the farm pond behind the house to try out my salt covered worms.  I bit the tip of the worm off (Yum), pegged the sinker and loaded for bear.  My wife tells me I am addicted to salt. I believe it was my first encounter with that salt doused worm.  Man I love to chew on those things to this day.

Somewhere down the line manufactures got smart and they started to inject it directly into the plastics.  I guess they figured out that the old system of salting your worms was fruitless, since the salt dissolved as soon as the bait entered the water.  Now days it seems like every bag of plastics you pick up has salt in it, injected throughout the bait to give it that long lasting flavor so fish bite and hold on.  Or do they, lets take into consideration what Mr. Largemouth eats; crawfish, lizards, worms, fish, etc... Well really just about anything he can get his mouth around.  The last time I checked I had to add salt to any of these things before I could eat them (We can discuss me eating lizards some other time).  Itís not like they come pre-salted for Mr. Largemouths eating pleasure.   So do you know why they add salt?

Studies have shown that salt does help.  Bass will tend to hold on to baits longer that have salt injected in them.  Now when I say longer I donít mean a minute or two, Iím talking a second or two.  Usually the time between you think you might have a bite and you had a bite.  Salt also serves another purpose, covering up scent.  Plastics baits are made from petroleum based products and along with petroleum comes the smell.  Cheaper grade plastics have a more pungent smell, while higher grade plastics have a very minimal smell.  This in turn is why so many manufactures use so much salt in their baits.  Chances are they are making your baits with a low grade plastic that with out the salt or sent would smell like you spilled gasoline in the bag.  I donít think that would turn on our little green friend.  On the other hand there are some manufactures that use higher grade plastics and still add salt and sent to the baitsĖgo figure.   Usually the trade off is expense.  The lower grade plastics are cheaper of course.

The last aspect I want to touch on is when to use salt and when not to use salt.  The one characteristic of salt that a lot of anglers overlook is its absorption properties.  Salt absorbs water.  When a soft plastic loaded with salt absorbs water it does one thing, sink.  So the next time you are throwing a Carolina rig, adding a craw trailer to your jig or fishing a floating worm, remember that salt makes things sink.  If you want your Carolina rig to ride higher in the water column, your pinchers on your craw trailer to float off the bottom, or your floating worm to stay afloat then I would suggested getting away from the salt.

By the way I tore those bass up in the farm pond behind my house that day.  It probably didnít hurt that it was stocked but none the less it was a good day of fishing.  Salt definitely has its place.  Remember though, too much salt can ruin any meal.

Jeff Miller
Anglers Edge Outfitters
The Ultimate Fishing Experience

Ranger Boats, Mercury Marine, Motorguide, Exodus Baits, D & S Lures, Bass Pro Shops, Southern Indiana Marine.